It has been time to get a batch bubbling again for a while, and I had 5 pounds of LME to use, but the season and SWMBO decreed something more like a cyser, so.
I gathered some bits together and whipped up a spiced cyser sort of thing to use them up. I went half and half with honey and the LME, so 5 pounds of each (whole recipe below) and used some Dry Ale yeast I had in the fridge to set it off.
My initial plan was to primary it for about a week, then secondary it until it was clear enough that I felt like bottling. I haven't made a honey brew yet, and I've noticed a few key differences in the course this batch is taking. Could I get a word of advice from the experts on what to expect? I don't think this has gone wrong, just divergent from my previous ale-making experiences.
So here's the Recipe:
5 lbs LME (light, liquid malt extract)
5 lbs Amber Clover Honey
2 oz sweet orange peel (dried)
1/4 cup fresh cranberries (with spices)
1/4 oz grated fresh ginger
1&1/4 gallon apple/cherry juice (pasteurized)
3/4 oz star anise
"some vanilla bean"
I threw a package of Red Star champagne yeast into the boil on the advice of a medieval re-creationist brewer in the hopes that might provide a nutrient base for the primary yeast.
I used maybe 41/2 gallons of water in the boil, the finished recipe filled the 5 gal carboy just right.
pitched with a starter made from Safale-S04 (Dry Ale)
Honey, LME and water were slowly brought to boil, held hot for a bit, then the spices were added and the brew cooled to pitching temp.
Juice was added to the primary first, then the brew, filtered through a catch sieve in the carboy funnel, aerated then pitched the Safale starter and installed a blowoff tube.
Well, the fermentation has been going like a motorboat all week, and though I planned to rack it to secondary (as I might with an ale) in the next couple of days, I'm not sure that's best here.
The airlock is still kicking bubbles out every 6 seconds or so, and while I haven't been checking the gravity yet (planned to when I racked) I'm sure it's still kicking.
I estimated the OG with a formula out of Zymurgy (It guesses LME at 1.034 when 1:1 to a gallon of water, and honey at 1.030) I think this batch started around 1.06~1.070
Which brings me to my questions:
What can I expect the LME to do to the primary time? Is this going to be 20 or more days before the secondary as I've been reading about in other Cyser/Meads here?
Should I be worried about this sitting on the primary on that cake of lees? I'm hoping it won't impart any off flavor. but I also intended to rack it off soon. Is that wise?
It's so active! I'm afraid to crash the ferm with the sampler or a premature racking.
So, what's the consensus? Should I relax and ride it out? how long might this take? It sure smells nice in the brew cabinet.
Thanks in advance!
Last edited by Ombwah
on Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.